Ferrari's Felipe Massa confessed to feeling disappointed after qualifying seventh for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Brazilian admitted he hadn't quite maximised his car in a tight session, but still believes he is in with a chance of a podium.

For perhaps the first time in F1 2012, Massa seriously threatened to out-qualify his World Championship leading team mate Fernando Alonso, but in the end he couldn't quite get the most out of his car in the shootout session.

The thirty year old Brazilian seemed to have the edge through the first two sessions, but when it came to the crunch he couldn't quite deliver and afterwards he was left lamenting a sudden loss of grip.

"Not an easy qualifying for the team, which can be seen from the fact we were quicker in Q2 than Q3," he said. "A shame, because in Q2, I had done a good time and I was expecting to improve still further, but unfortunately, I was slower: I suddenly had less grip and a lot of oversteer, so now we must find out why.

"It will be very hot tomorrow and it could also rain, so we will need to be on top of whatever situation arises. We will have to wait and see how things turn out in what will be a long race tomorrow, but I think we are still in with a chance of fighting for a podium finish, even if we are up against very strong opposition."

The Hungaroring is one of the most significant circuits in the career of Felipe Massa, and he was quick to acknowledge its seminal part in his career.

"The Hungaroring has been the scene of several important moments in my career, starting with heading for certain victory in 2008 only to be robbed of it by an engine failure, followed a year later by my accident," he said. "So many people here have remained close to me and continue to support me, so I am doubly disappointed, as I wanted to reward them with a great result this afternoon. We'll try and do it tomorrow!"

Despite what he's been through here, it is one of the tracks on which he most regularly shines, out-qualifying Alonso in 2011 in the middle of a difficult session.

There have been signs that of late that he's returning to his pre-accident form, even if the results haven't shown. It would be fitting in so many ways if he could claim a long awaited podium in this years Grand Prix.

by Philip Barclay